With One Eye Closed

Susan Marie Shuman/ SusanWritesPrecise

It’s Tuesday Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub. Today’s theme is “making much of madness.


 

Each day I am tormented when I

search the newspaper obituary column

and find you unlisted.

I am afraid to leave my apartment:

you could be everywhere.

I check and double-check the six

locks bolted to my splitting wooden door. Then,

with one eye closed I stealthily

peek through my hole in the fraying

yellow window shade; perhaps

I will spot you among the gutter-litter—

scraping, twisting,

slithering back and forth,

up and down my street like

a rabid snake shedding its festering skin.

from my hole in the shade with

one eye closed, I begin to dissect

feature by feature, the crazy-wino faces

street people and policemen, terrified

I might accidentally catch a glimpse of your

maniacal smile  or your

obsidian-hate eyes.

knowing what it would do to me

should the phone ring now—

I lift the grimy beige receiver from its cracked cradle;

ripping and jabbing at the knotted Curly-Q

cord with  preschooler scissors.

and letting them slide

to the mustard-colored rug stained

with

Marlboro butts smeared

again I peek

through my hole in the shade with one eye closed

and know you’re lurking everywhere.

 

 

alamay stock photos

14 thoughts on “With One Eye Closed

  1. disturbingly and grittily compiled and the opening lines set the scene for this excellent personification of paranoia
    “and find you unlisted.
    I am afraid to leave my apartment:
    you could be everywhere.”

    thanks for making so much of madness!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s quite a twist of fate that your dark poem followed Linda’s brightly lit one, Susan! You’ve captured paranoia and fear so well in the opening stanza and then give us a glint of madness in the lines:
    ‘…perhaps
    I will spot you among the gutter-litter—
    scraping, twisting,
    slithering back and forth’.
    The idea of someone peeking through a hole in a yellow shade with one eye closed is creepy and, in some ways, your poem reminds me of short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

    Liked by 1 person

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